While Aja Brown runs for Congress, what about Compton’s streets?
Brown can aspire to a higher office just like anyone else, but she hasn’t finished her course in Compton, yet
A resident of Tajauta Avenue in Compton sent this recent photo of potholes on his street. This was not the only pothole, but one of dozens on the avenue. Photo source: Tajauta Block Club.
After six years of Aja Brown, the streets of Compton remain in awful condition even though sufficient money is available to get the job done
Compton Mayor Aja Brown made it official. She is making a run for the 44th District congressional seat, ostensibly to usurp Black apologist Stacey Dash, who announced her plans to vie for the office last week.“The people of the 44th District deserve to be represented by someone who lives, serves and exhibits genuine love for our community, families and children,” Brown said. “I am running for Congress to be the voice and vote for the people who are striving every day to feed and raise their families. This campaign is about real people coming together for real progress in our communities.”
There are a couple of glaring things wrong with this scenario as it is shaping up.
One, why does Brown believe she has to rescue the 44th district and enter as a bulwark against Dash? The powerful incumbent Nanette Barragán, the first Latina to hold the seat, can do that all by herself if that’s really Brown’s goal.
Two, the option for Congress sends a conflicting signal. Brown has promised some lofty goals for Compton, of which she has much work to do: Balance the budget, finish ushering in new business growth, revitalize Compton’s downtown business district, and the most glaring — fix the City’s deplorable streets!
The latter was a key political stratagem she aggressively campaigned on in 2013, which catapulted her into office as the youngest mayor in Compton’s history. Six years later, however, the streets remain in awful condition even though sufficient money is available to get the job done.
Brown can aspire to higher political office just like anyone else. We’re not begrudging her that. But here’s the problem as we see it: She hasn’t finished her course in Compton. It goes to ethics. She sought a second term and won on a plethora of promises.
Now, the quest for Congress looks like just another opportunistic grab.
Brown has her crosshairs set on Republican Dash, the failing actress and political neophyte with zero experience who has no chance of winning a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, even though she might poll enough votes to represent the GOP.
Brown has been an ambassador for Compton and probably sees it as a springboard to Congress. The odds are against her. She could very well fall well short of the mark. The race will not be against Dash, but against Barragán.
Brown made her announcement ahead of the March 9 filing deadline. To now, the official declarants are Democratic incumbent Nanette Diaz Barragan, Democrats Compton Mayor Aja L. Brown, Analilia Joya, and Republicans, actress Stacey Dash, and businesswoman Jazmina Saavedra.
Former Compton councilman Hall, who advanced quickly up the political ladder in California — winning a state assembly seat, then the state senate, was trounced by Barragán in 2016, when both sought the 44th congressional seat abandoned by then Rep. Janice Hahn, who successfully campaigned for and won the race for Los Angeles County supervisor.
Hall outpolled Barragán in the 2016 primary but was categorically trounced by her in the general election. Barragán tallied 52.2 percent of the vote to Hall’s 47.8 percent.
This time around incumbent Barragán has accrued a slew of powerful endorsements — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-CA; Sen. Corey Booker, D-NJ; and 14 members of California’s congressional delegation, including Rep. Karen Bass of the 37th District.
Brown’s support in the region is, at best, divided.
The likely scenario will be Barragán and Brown in the Nov. 6 general election for the 44th District, which covers parts of Carson, Compton, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, San Pedro, South Gate, Watts, Willowbrook, Walnut Park and Wilmington, with Barragán finishing atop the heap.
Based on that forecast, the more prudent decision by Brown would have been to stick to her job as mayor of Compton, applying 100 percent of her energy finishing the course, here.
This story has been updated. A previous version named Sen. Isadore Hall as a candidate for the 44th Congressional District seat in the forthcoming June 5, 2018, primary. Hall is not a candidate in the race. We regret the error.